The Friday Irregular
Issue #488 - 10th August 2018

Edited by and copyright ©2018 Simon Lamont

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Unless otherwise indicated dollar values are in US dollars.



  v. To impress a design or symbol into something, as opposed to 'emboss', where a design is raised from the surface.


Friday 10th August   -   A band of Vikings raiders defeated the English under Byrhtnoth, Earldorman of Essex, at the Battle of Maldon, 991. Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany, died, 1241. John of Bohemia born, 1296. The Swedish warship Vasa sank in Stockholm harbour 20 minutes into her maiden voyage (she would be recovered in 1961), 1628. Aviator Otto Lilienthal died, 1896. Actress Norma Shearer born, 1902. David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, New York, for the "Son of Sam" killings, 1977. Boxer & wrestler Wade Barrett born, 1980. Chef & presenter Jennifer Paterson died, 1999.
Saturday 11th August   -   The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar began, 3114 BCE. Leonidas I, King of Sparta, died at the Battle of Thermopylae, 480 BCE. Composer Joseph Schuster born, 1748. The British colony of Penang in Malaysia was established by Captain Francis Light, 1786. Writer Enid Blyton born, 1897. Engineer Jean Bugatti died while testing a racing car, 1939. Actress Hedy Lamarr & composer George Antheil were granted a patent for a communications system that became the basis for modern Wi-Fi & wireless phones, 1942. Comedian Isy Suttie born, 1978. Actor Peter Cushing died, 1994.
Sunday 12th August   -   Egyptian queen Cleopatra committed suicide, 30 BCE. Astronomer, mathematician & historian Abraham Zacuto born, 1452. Christopher Columbus arrived at the Canary Islands on his First Voyage, 1492. Poet & artist William Blake died, 1827. Theosophist Helena Blavatsky born, 1831. Joseph Lister performed the first antiseptic surgery, 1865. Rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot born, 1963. South Africa was banned from the Olympic Games due to its policy of apartheid, 1964. Actress Lauren Bacall died, 2014. World Elephant Day.
Monday 13th August   -   Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan after a siege, 1521. Sculptor Giambologna died, 1608. Caricaturist James Gillray born, 1756. The Convention of London between the UK & the United Netherlands was signed, 1814. Sharpshooter Annie Oakley born, 1860. Physician René Laennec, inventor of the stethoscope, died, 1863. East Germany began construction of the Berlin Wall, 1961. Singer-songwriter James Morrison born, 1984. Actor & musician Kenny Baker died, 2016.
Tuesday 14th August   -   Duncan I of Scotland was killed in battle against Macbeth, 1040. The village of Düsseldorf was granted town privileges by Count Adolf VIII of Berg, 1288. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, born, 1473. John Davis made the first recorded sighting of the Falkland Islands, 1592. Dentist, gambler & gunfighter Doc Holliday born, 1851. American admiral David Farragut died, 1870. The UK Marine Broadcasting Offences Act came into force, making offshore pirate radio illegal, 1967. Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson born, 1969. Racing driver Enzo Ferrari, founder of Ferrari, died, 1988.
Wednesday 15th August   -   King Macbeth of Scotland was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan, 1054. Kublai Khan's Mongolian fleet was destroyed by a "divine wind" at the Battle of Kōan, 1281. Poet Luigi Pulci born, 1421. Playwright Thomas Kyd died, 1594. The Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen, Denmark, opened, 1843. Writer E. Nesbit born, 1858. The "Wow! signal" was received by the Big Ear radio telescope operated by Ohio State University, 1977. Actress Jennifer Lawrence born, 1990. Computer scientist Kateryna Yushchenko died, 2001.
Thursday 16th August   -   Artist Agostino Carracci born, 1557. The naval Battle of Plymouth in the First Anglo-Dutch War ended inconclusively, 1652. Poet Andrew Marvell died, 1678. US President James Buchanan inaugurated the transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1858. John Pemberton, inventor of Coca-Cola, died, 1888. Cartoonist & animator Otto Messner, co-creator of Felix the Cat, born, 1892. Drummer Pete Best was discharged from The Beatles, to be replaced by Ringo Starr, 1962. Writer & broadcaster Ulrika Jonsson born, 1967. Actor Stewart Granger died, 1993.


This week, William Blake, from Auguries of Innocence:
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.


A selection of quotations from films with a common actor or actress. Answers next issue or from the regular address. Last issue's quotations were from films starring Christopher Lloyd:


Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...

IN BRIEF: Derby grandfather grows potentially world-record-beating cucumber, 51" (129.54cm) long, although there is some debate over the variety as only standard cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are eligible. ● Donald Campbell's record-breaking hydroplane Bluebird back on the water on Loch Fad, off Bute, after being salvaged in 2001 after crashing on Coniston Water in 1967, and restored. ● Ford giving workers in 15 car factories exosuits to help them lift heavy items with reduced risk of injury. ● Eight-foot (2.4m) lump of polystyrene washes up on Cornwall beach. ● Five £5 ($6.44) notes micro-etched with portrait of World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane put into circulation by micro-engraver Graham Short, could be worth around £50,000 ($64,440) each. ● West Bromwich Albion soccer team unveil their latest mascot - a man dressed as a combi boiler - after signing sponsorship deal with boiler firm; Twitter quickly dubs him 'Boiler Man', reacts with both horror & plaudits. ● Forensic analysis of blood patterns on Turin Shroud backs up earlier carbon dating evidence that it is a fake.

TRUMPWATCH - An occasional look at the sillier items around the US president: A "verified" Donald J. Trump Twitter account was set up to scam people out of cryptocurrency; account name used Latin & Cyrillic characters similar to 'l' & 'p' to create fake account name, replied to genuine post to get air of authenticity. ● Kathleen Turner describes "creepy" Trump handshake where he stroked her wrist with one finger. ● TV chat show host Jimmy Kimmel produces climate change awareness TV ad tailored to Trump; warns of threat to gold courses & fast food supplies. ● West Hollywood City Council unanimously votes to remove Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (already partially removed by a man with a pick, see previous issue) because of his "disturbing treatment of women" & "other actions". ● Mike Pence's 1990s columns written in wake of Lewinsky scandal dug up to highlight his views on moral requirements of being President. ● Russia appoints martial arts actor Steven Seagal special representative for Russia-US humanitarian ties. ● Trump reacts to massive California wildfires by not expressing sympathy for victims but by drawing on conspiracy theories to blame environmental laws; Peter Gleick, a world-renowned expert on water supply & climate at the Pacific Institute described Trump's statement as "too stupid to rebut". ● White House staff reportedly given up on trying to make golfing trips have any semblance of working vacation days; in 2011 Trump complained that President Obama spent too much time playing golf - Trump has taken 102 golf trips in less than 500 days in office while Obama took more than 1,200 days to play as much golf.


Director J.J. Abrams pays tribute to late Carrie Fisher as filming on Star Wars: Episode IX begins. ● Ai Weiwei's Beijing studio - unused but holding equipment & artwork - demolished without warning by Chinese authorities. ● Jessica Lange returning to American Horror Story for Murder House/Coven crossover Apocalypse season 8. ● Apple becomes fist public company worth over $1tn (£767bn). ● CBS in talks to renew The Big Bang Theory for 13th season. ● BBC files subpoena request in Washington court seeking to have Microsoft disclose owner of OneDrive account from which Doctor Who footage was leaked. ● Universal pulls Chris Pratt-starring Cowboy Ninja Viking from 2019 summer release. ● China blocks release of Disney's Christopher Robin because Winnie the Pooh is a symbol of dissent after leader Xi Jingping was compared to him. ● Maureen Lipman joining Coronation Street. ● Rise of streaming services cuts music piracy in UK by 8%. ● Dave Grohl releases 23-minute instrumental track, playing seven instruments. ● Epic Games to skip Google Play store with its "disproportionate" 30% cut to Google to sell Android Fortnite app direct. ● Now-teenage twins who played Ross & Rachel's baby on Friends cast in Jordan Peele thriller film Us. ● FX orders 10-episode miniseries of James Clavell's Shogun, previously adapted in 1980. ● Showtime CEO confirms reports Homeland to end with season 8. ● Unable to perform after injuring foot before the show Sir Ian McKellen gives King Lear audience impromptu question-and-answer session where, among other things he "Gandalfed twice and acted several Shakespeare scenes off the top of his head." ● Lee Pace-starring John DeLorean biopic Driven to close Venice International Film Festival. ● Lady Gaga's Las Vegas residency to comprise two shows: Lady Gaga Enigma pop show and Jazz and Piano mixing acoustic/piano versions of her songs with American Songbook classics. ● Aphex Twin music video pulled from Adult Swim after failing epilepsy trigger test. ● Pink admitted to hospital in Australia with gastric virus, cancels shows. ● Slash hints at new Guns N' Roses album. ● Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker biopic of Notorious B.I.G., City of Lies pulled a month before release. ● Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly-starring Laurel & Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie to close BFI London Film Festival. ● Star Trek: Discovery showrunner confirms Patrick Stewart returning to franchise for Jean-Luc Picard series set 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis. ● OpenAI bots defeat semi-pro team at Dota 2. ● Rajar figures show fewer people listening to news radio programmes, more listening to music. ● Robert Redford announces retirement from acting after next film The Old Man and The Gun. ● Ruby Rose cast as first openly LGBT TV superhero in CW Network's Batwoman. ● Sixth Terminator film photo released of three female leads Dani Ramos, Mackenzie Davis (seemingly playing a Terminator) and Linda Hamilton, returning to franchise. ● US cable TV network HGTV wins auction for The Brady Bunch house in Los Angeles, will film it being restored "to its 1970s glory". ● Some Vega+ console customers receive their devices, poorly packed & lacking instructions, charging cables, as company loses license to use ZX Spectrum name & many games, company Retro Computers Ltd under investigation for trading while insolvent. ● YouTube, Apple, Facebook drop Alex Jones' Info Wars conspiracy theory podcasts for breaching prohibited content policies. ● BBC puts ChuckleVision on iPlayer as tribute to Barry Chuckle [Obituaries, below]. ● Research shows that over half of UK adults access subscription-based streaming TV services. ● Warner Bros, DC, reportedly in early development stages for film based on Supergirl TV series.


Model Rick Genest ("Zombie Boy", 32), radio presenter Vicki Archer (BBC Radio Shropshire, voice-overs, 41), entertainer Barry Chuckle (The Chuckle Brothers, 73), chef Joël Robuchon (31 Michelin stars, once threw a plate at a stroppy apprentice called Gordon Ramsay, 73), actor Masahiko Tsugawa (Godzilla, Death Note, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, 78), actor Robert Dix (Forbidden Planet, Live and Let Die, Gunsmoke, 83), filmmaker Moshé Mizrahi (1977 foreign language film Oscar winner for Madame Rosa, 86), actress Charlotte Rae (The Facts of Life, Bananas, Car 54, Where Are You?, 92).


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
6, 14, 28, 32, 39, 48
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    Little Jennifer's class were learning about the U.S. Presidents. "OK, children," their teacher said, "George Washington was the first President of the United States, but who can tell me who came after him?"
    There was total silence in the class until one child confidently put her hand up. "Yes, Little Jennifer?"
    Little Jennifer beamed confidently. "It was the second President of the United States, Miss!"

^ ...end of line